Choosing a business management system

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Today more than ever before, businesses are moving online and adopting technology. For some businesses this is the core of who they are, operating solely online without a physical presence. Others maintain their offline status, but use technology for marketing or efficiencies.

There are many benefits available by turning once offline processes into fully digitised experiences. For instance ordering food delivery was once the domain of last centuries high technology, the telephone. This worked but had limitations such as taking a single order at a time, needing a copy of the menu and understanding each others language and accent.

Today's online ordering systems can handle unlimited orders at the same time, easily display and manage products and upgrade options, plus can operate in multiple languages. In addition loyalty programs, delivery tracking and more enhance the experience.

Whatever industry you are in, technology has improvements to offer. But before you can implement these you need to decide on which management system(s) you will use and implement business systems and processes in the day to day running of your business. 

Custom Built

By far the most flexible and often powerful is building yourself. This is also the most expensive, both to build and maintain. However with the rise of software developers and foundational platforms the barrier of entry is lower than before. If you have very unique requirements, or are a very large company this route may be suggested. But all companies should explore the alternatives before committing.

Basic Functional Systems

Sometimes a fully blown system is not even required, meaning something simple can do the job instead. Back to our food delivery example, taking orders over facebook messenger brings some of the benefits with a free and simple implementation. Other options could include email, google forms, typeform or similar.

Most of these options specialise in performing one function very well, generally for free. Often they have some extra options available for paid users. But going far beyond their primary use will be difficult or impossible.

Niche Management Systems

Most industries now have software management systems available that specialise in a certain niche. Restaurant delivery ordering options and Transport management systems are 2 examples.

Most of these will be offered on a subscription basis, although some may be free or outright purchase. This makes them much more affordable than a custom built solution. They come with support and ongoing updates so that you don't need your own IT team.

By specialising in a single niche they generally excel at the functions the offer, working in the way you need them to. This makes them a very good choice if one is available.

Flexible Management Systems

In addition there are also much more general management systems that can be adapted to suit all kinds of needs.

These can include CRM systems, project management systems, content management systems and eCommerce platforms. In some cases these solutions can interlink, allowing you to combine several platforms to cover a wider range of tasks.

Mark Walker

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